Soft drinks’ brand values up, despite health concerns

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Soft drink brand values on the rise globally
Soft drink brand values on the rise globally

Related tags: Soft drink

Soft drinks firms have increased the value of their brands globally over the past year, despite consumer health concerns about sugar and artificial sweeteners, new figures suggest.

The top 15 global soft drinks brands increased their value by 8% to £100bn ($153bn) compared with last year, according to BrandZ, an annual report compiled by advertising agency WPP and research firm Millward Brown.

Much of the category’s success was down to innovations that addressed health concerns, stated the report. That followed more consumers limiting their intake of diet colas and energy drinks to avoid “artificial sweeteners or chemical ingredients”, ​it claimed.

Soft drinks brands, such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi, had launched stevia-sweetened beverages​ in response to consumer demands for fewer artificial sweeteners, according to research.

Healthy premium product

Coca-Cola also launched a milk drink called Fairlife, which is positioned as a healthy premium product, the report added.

There had also been increasing interest in beverages such as chilled coffees, juices, waters and iced teas. For example, iced tea manufacturer Lipton, owned by Unilever, entered the top 15 global soft drink brands for the first time.

“Health concerns drove an increased interest in tea drinks,” ​the report stated.

Such products offered consumers more transparency as they believed they were just drinking tea, according to one commentator.

“Brands, particularly in the food and drinks sector, need to be honest with customers if their messages are going to land,” ​vice president of market research firm Penn Schoen Berland said.

‘People aren’t stupid’

“People aren’t stupid and have a good idea about what’s in the products that they know and love.”

Meanwhile, soft drinks consumption declined by 0.5% in the UK to almost 15bnl in 2014, according to the latest British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) report.

The sector was worth £15.7bn and more than half (57%) of soft drinks sold in the UK were low or no calorie, the BSDA added.

Gavin Partington, BSDA director general, said: “The number of consumers switching to low, no and mid-calorie drinks in 2014 speaks volumes for industry’s efforts to meet changing consumer demands.”

Global Ranking

Brand

Value $M

Change v 2014

1

Coca-cola

70,042

3%

2

Diet Coke

13,799

6%

3

Red Bull

11,375

5%

4

Pepsi

10,836

16%

5

Nescafe

6,342

-5%

6

Tropicana

6,026

16%

7

Fanta

6,017

23%

8

Sprite

5,255

16%

9

Nespresso

5,224

5%

10

Gatorade

4,693

14%

11

Lipton

3,748

N/A

12

Minute Maid

2,768

11%

13

Dr Pepper

2,697

28%

14

Mountain Dew

2,490

7%

15

Diet Pepsi

2,298

6%

  • WPP and Millward Brown categorised the top global soft drinks brands by interviewing more than 3M consumers globally. Consumers were asked questions about the brands, how much they trusted them and whether they would pay more for products.
    Each business also had its financial and business performance analysed in the countries in which it operated.

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